IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom is ready to bounce back at The Bend Motorsport Park this weekend, as he prepares for three exciting races on the shorter ‘West’ layout in the OTR SuperSprint.
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship reaches its penultimate event of the season at The OTR SuperSprint, as Winterbottom looks to bounce back following a challenging weekend last week in the Repco SuperSprint.
The Team 18 crew have been working hard in the week to repair the IRWIN Tools Commodore after it was an innocent victim during the Lap 1 carnage in Race 27. Some of the damaged parts were sent back to Queensland to be repaired in time for the Bathurst 1000 in three weeks.
The ‘West’ layout shortcuts the ‘International’ layout at the Turn 6 hairpin, instead changing to a sharp right-hand hairpin to rejoin at what was Turn 14 at the pair of left-hand corners in the circuit infield.
In doing so, it avoids the long right-hand sweeper at Turns 7-8-9-10 and some of the fast-and-flowing corners that resulted in severe tyre blistering during the first weekend of racing.
Teams will again be allocated five sets of soft tyres for qualifying and the three 32-lap races, with a minimum of two tyres to be changed in the single compulsory pit stop.
The Charlie Schwerkolt-owned squad currently sit seventh in a tight battle in the teams championship, while Winterbottom sits 12th in the drivers standings with two events remaining.
Track action begins on Saturday with Practice 1 at 9:35 am ACST (+30 minutes for NSW, VIC and QLD), before Race 28 of the championship at 3:40pm. Races 29 and 30 on Sunday will start at 11:50pm and 2:20pm respectively.
This weekend’s action can be viewed both days live on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sports from 9:30am CST, with highlights on 10 Bold at 9:50pm CST each night.
Mark Winterbottom, #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore
“The car looks brand new, the guys have done an amazing job to have it ready to hit the track this weekend,” said Winterbottom.
“Obviously we’ve been on most of the track, we’ll be going right at Turn 6 instead of left, but ultimately a lot of the corners are the same so we will roll out basically where we left off from last weekend and see how the car is and go from there.
“This is a good chance to turnaround our misfortunes from the last week as we look ahead to Bathurst.”